Culture Human evolution Intelligent Design

Did Neanderthals create the first Spanish cave paintings?

If they did, that’ll be even less reason to think of them as some kind of “missing link”: What if, long before Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo, the Neanderthals were humanity’s first artists? At any rate, this is the hypothesis raised by new dating of Spanish rock paintings published in February 2018 in the journal […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design language Mind

Rob Sheldon: Did humans see the color blue before modern times?

Perhaps we should say, we cannot discriminate “blue” without a word for it? For sure. This is the property of language. As linguists will say, a word excludes more than it includes. And if we don’t have a word, we lack the ability to discriminate (or, as Aristotle shows us, we make up a word on the spot, we “categorize”.)

Human evolution Intelligent Design

Researcher: Teeth are an “astonishing” source of information

Reflections on a recent study of Neanderthal children’s teeth and one other (5000 ya): Teeth are a really useful indicator of past environments. This is possible because teeth have biological rhythms, and key events get locked inside them. These faithful internal clocks run night and day, year after year, and include daily growth lines and […]

Culture Human evolution Intelligent Design

Study: Neanderthals did not live more violently than other ancient peoples

From a study of over 200 skulls: Males suffered the bulk of harmful head knocks, whether they were Neandertals or ancient humans, the scientists report online November 14 in Nature. “Our results suggest that Neandertal lifestyles were not more dangerous than those of early modern Europeans,” Harvati says. Bruce Bower, “Skull damage suggests Neandertals led no […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design

Neanderthals walked normally, upright, say researchers

The skeleton was of a 32-year-old man: Neanderthals walked upright, had spines straighter than those of modern man, would have been strong and sturdy, and breathed deeply from their bell-, not barrel-shaped ribcages, according to a recently published article written by an international team of scientists. Busting open the myth of the arm-dragging, hunched-over caveman, […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design language

No one evolved faster than the Neanderthal

Look how smart he got in the last few decades: This from a discussion of whether Neanderthals had language: Based on these results, most researchers agree Neanderthals were capable of emitting and hearing complex vocalizations. However, they disagree over the implications. While some consider the findings indicative of speech-based language in Neanderthals, others propose these […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design

Two Neanderthal children from 250 kya showed lead exposure, and much else

Based on an analysis of their teeth: Two 250,000-year-old teeth from two Neanderthal children revealed that both of them were exposed to lead twice during their short lifetimes, the first known case of lead exposure in Neanderthals… “Teeth record environmental variation based on the climate, even where you’re growing up,” said Tanya Smith, lead author […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design Medicine

Neanderthals practiced some forms of health care 1.6 mya

For one thing, they had to cope with injuries inflicted by large wild animals they were hunting: Researchers investigated the skeletal remains of more than 30 individuals where minor and serious injuries were evident, but did not lead to loss of life. The samples displayed several episodes of injury and recovery, suggesting that Neanderthals must have had a […]

extinction Human evolution Intelligent Design

In the latest version: Cold climate helped to do in the Neanderthals

From ScienceDaily: A team of researchers from a number of European and American research institutions, including Northumbria University, Newcastle, have produced detailed new natural records from stalagmites that highlight changes in the European climate more than 40,000 years ago. They found several cold periods that coincide with the timings of a near complete absence of […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design speciation

A physicist looks at biology’s problem of “speciation” in humans

Consider this item on the recent find of the remains of a girl from 90,000 years ago: The discovery of the first-known offspring of parents from two different hominin species took scientists by surprise. While evidence has been pointing to interbreeding among the ancestor species of modern humans, the direct link is being hailed as […]

Culture Darwinism Human evolution Intelligent Design

Neanderthal woman, Denisovan man

From ScienceDaily: Together with their sister group the Neanderthals, Denisovans are the closest extinct relatives of currently living humans. “We knew from previous studies that Neanderthals and Denisovans must have occasionally had children together,” says Viviane Slon, researcher at the MPI-EVA and one of three first authors of the study. “But I never thought we […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design

Neanderthals had a sophisticated home life?

New Scientist is now rehabilitating the Neanderthals. We once thought of Neanderthals as crude and unintelligent – not any more. Archaeological evidence suggests they were capable of symbolic thought, had some capacity for speech, and probably carried out elaborate burial rituals. They may even have taught modern humans new skills when the two species met […]